The New York Islanders dropped only their third game in regulation since December 20th with a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.
It was the worst possible time for the New York Islanders to play the Boston Bruins. With their sixth Super Bowl win on Sunday, the New England Patriots were going through Boston with a much celebrated parade.
The fanfare meant that the Islanders didn’t have a morning skate before the game. Getting the team out of the hotel and into the melee of the crowd was clearly too much of a logistical nightmare for the Isles.
They’d have a video session in the hotel as their game prep. Hopefully, the lack of a skate after a two day break wasn’t going to be a disadvantage for the Islanders.
The Boston Bruins hold the leagues third best power play with a 27.3 percent efficiency. Staying out of the box would be key for the Islanders.
From the 9:43 mark to the 15:04 point of the first period, the New York Islanders went to the box three separate times. That’s three occasions for the Boston Bruins to get that top three power play out on the ice.
The Islanders stood tall on all three. Lehner did his job and so did the penalty killers.
But it was clear that the New York Islanders were the second best team out on the ice for the opening 20. If not for that Patriots parade they could have got that much needed morning skate in.
Tied 0-0 after one was the best outcome for the New York Islanders based on the way they played.
The Islanders are typically poorer in the second period, but after the way they played the first there’s was only one way to go, and that was up.
Although two minutes into the period and Patrice Bergeron would tuck in a lose puck after a Boston counter-attack.
The Islanders kept building momentum after the Bergeron goal. Martin Martin and Anthony Beauvillier got good chances in the slot that forced an even better save from Tuukka Rask.
But on their second power play of the period, the New York Islanders would finally get one through Rask. With some crisp passing in the Boston end the Islanders carved open the Bruins for Jordan Eberle to get the Isles on the board.
That was Eberle’s first point in six games. He, the power play, and the New York Islanders needed that goal to tie it up before the third period where the Bruins as typically their strongest.
Just a few minutes into the third period Devon Toews picks up the puck out of a scramble in the Islanders end. Like he was shot out of a cannon, Toews takes it up through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone. The puck eventually gets to Cal Clutterbuck who wrists it past Rask.
But at the blue line Toews leaves it for Casey Cizikas who hadn’t yet crossed the blue line. After a long review the goal would be called by for offside.
The goal was rightfully called back based on the rule, but that play was barely offside. That wasn’t the intent of the rule.
The let down of the call back clearly got to the Islanders who couldn’t get anything going for the few minutes after the decision. The Bruins would use that momentum swing to score their second from Peter Cehlarik.
And then the whistles went deep into the refs pockets. So deep it took three Bruins penalties to get the Islanders a power play. Even then, it was a four minute minor rather than the 5-on-3 it should have been.
The Islanders failed to capitalize on the four minute advantage. The Bruins would eventually add an empty net goal to make it 3-1.
Failing to come out strong from the opening whistle as well as capitalize on the opportunities they had, such as a four minute power play in the final minutes sank the Islanders.
The loss meant that the Islanders point streak came to an end at eight games.
Fans of the Game
At the start of every New York Islanders fans to peek into the future and tell us who will score the Isles first goal of the night. These five time travelling fans had their DeLorean’s working tonight.
1. Tuukka Rask: 28 saves, 0.966SV%
Rask was the difference. He made a number of key saves for the Bruins, not to mention when it came to the Islanders power play.
2. Jordan Eberle: 1 goal
Eberle needed that goal. He hadn’t put up a point in his last five games.
3. Devon Toews
Honestly, this guy can’t stop improving. He looks like he’s been playing at the NHL for a number of years and not for 18 games.